Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How far we've come

This past weekend, we were incredibly blessed to travel to PA to watch one of my dear friends get married to a wonderful man. The wedding was beautiful and God was so present in their day and their love. They are beginning their marriage full of hope and excitement for everything the future has to hold. As I watched them though, I unexpectedly felt a little sad. I was so happy for them, but I think I was mourning the loss of that young love, that is full of that hope and excitement that I felt on our wedding day.  

We are fortunate in the sense that we knew prior to getting married that starting a family would most likely be difficult, but there was still so much hope and excitement and the naivety that it would be "easy" or at least easier than what it has been. It was also laced with hope that we either wouldn't fall into the 98% of men with CF that are infertile or that God would provide us with a miracle in the way that I envisioned a miracle at that time. There was a part of me that wanted to go back to that place of not knowing the struggles that would face us. To go back to the time when our marriage hadn't been touched by the grief, anger and frustration that accompanied this struggle and tested in ways that we couldn't even begin to imagine. But, if I'm truly honest with myself, I don't want to go back there. It was a beautiful time, but our marriage is actually better and stronger than it was then because of this journey. We now know that we can go through difficult times and not let those times destroy us. I also would NOT want to walk this road all over again. I've been to the pit where I was thankful that God was there, but I didn't want to talk to Him. Since then, I have also come to a place where more recently I have felt closer to God than I have in a long time and I once again feel hope! I feel like this goes along with my last post where, yes, our marriage has been impacted by this journey in some difficult ways, but also some beautiful ways. To go back, would be to say that no good has come from this process and that we are not a better couple than we were on that day.

I would never want to see anyone have to walk this road, but I'm thankful that God is present and there to pick us up and bring us through to the other side, strengthening our marriage and transforming us as individuals and a couple.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The infertility beast

I recently read a blog post that referred to infertility as a beast that eats away at you, changing you and affecting your marriage and relationships. At first I wanted to disagree with this analogy because I felt like it gave infertility too much power and made it sound like I would always be left at the same place that I was when I was in my darkest time. But, the more I thought about it, I had to agree. Infertility does nibble and eat away at the person that you once were. It steals joy and hope and replaces them with bitterness, grief and the deepest aching you've ever felt. It affects your relationships and has, many times, destroyed marriages in it's wake. If it doesn't destroy your marriage, it certainly impacts it.

What I now realize though, is that saying that it's a beast that nibbles away at me is not saying that I will always be in the darkest place that I once found myself. That is what the enemy wants me to think, and where he wants me to be. Infertility has shaped me and our marriage, but it does NOT define who we are. I have been in that dark place where all I felt were bitterness and anguish, but God has restored my hope and I am still working on finding my joy again. He is using this experience to mold me into a stronger person and he is preparing me to be a better mother than I would have been 5 years ago. It has transformed our marriage, in some ways making us stronger and more thankful that we at least have each other to walk this road with, while in other ways breaking us down resulting in us taking out our pain on the one person who fully understands how we feel. We will not emerge from this journey unscathed, but we will emerge stronger and with a better understanding of what it means to choose to love each other "in good times and bad". Infertility is a beast that satan uses to destroy us, but thankfully we have a God who uses it to strengthen us if we left him. A God who will pick us up and carry us through our darkest times he feels most distant. Infertility may have changed me, but there will also be hope in Jesus.